October 31st 2006
Q. What are some of the best advertising headlines or catchy one-liners used in sports advertising – or in general – leading up to Halloween?
A. A couple of the Halloween advertising one-liners I remember included Spooktacular Savings and Monster Sale; nothing out of the ordinary.
October 30th 2006
Q. With all the recent fights, unsportsmanlike misconduct, DUI arrests, and everything else that has given sports a black eye, how do we counter with positive programs and activities to show fans we do care and that athletes and coaches can be positive role models?
A. There are so many great things happening in sports today. It’s unfortunate the negative acts of a few overshadow the positive acts, programs, role models and generosity of so many professional athletes, college student-athletes, coaches, owners and athletic administrators in sports today.
The programs are too numerous to name, but some great programs that are representative of the positive impact sports is making today involve Read to Achieve, Take a Kid to the Game, holiday food drives, recycling programs, the Off the Streets and Into the Seats program, and so many others.
These programs, along with many others, are just a few examples of how athletic teams can give back to the community that supports sports today, as well as educate student-athletes on the importance of being positive role models to our youth who are the leaders of tomorrow.
October 27th 2006
Q. What is your favorite quote and why?
A. There are so many quotes I enjoy and I wouldn’t say there’s one that stands out among all the others. But I’m happy to share one of my many favorites as a thought for today:
“You see things that are and you say ‘Why?’ But you should dream things that never were and say ‘Why not?’”
October 26th 2006
Q. Most colleges have gone away from Midnight Madness. What are colleges doing to replace Midnight Madness to tip off the year?
A. Some teams have chosen to host men’s and women’s basketball Fan Fests, as Boise State will do tonight, and others have hosted open practice events, fan days, tip-off luncheons, and other fan-friendly events.
October 25th 2006
Q. Do you think schools that don’t have much fan traditions at athletic games should try to create fan traditions or is this something that should be initiated by fans?
A. There are good examples of traditions created by colleges – as well as professional sports teams – where the school (or team) took the initiative ,and there are many examples of fans creating their own traditions.
Each college, market and situation is different and I’d encourage schools and sports teams to do what they feel are best for all involved.
I’ve been involved in assisting schools and professional sports teams with creating and implementing cheers that have turned into traditions, but in each situation we figured out the best way to introduce and successfully execute. Once introduced, it was up to the fans whether they chose to make the cheers and chants traditions.
October 24th 2006
Q. Do you recommend sports teams pre-select the songs they play – whether a team uses a pep band or sound machine during time outs – or go with whatever the atmosphere calls for in a game?
A. I’m a planner, so I encourage teams to pre-select the music for pre-game, in-game, timeouts and post-game. With that said, you will want to remain flexible and have an alternate song list prepared and readily available to use when your team goes on a run and you’d like to play a high-energy song versus, for example, going with a public address announcement you originally had scheduled for a timeout.
October 23rd 2006
Q. We’d like to start a brick fund-raising program. Where do we start or do you have a best practice program you could share as a model for getting us started?
A. This is a great fund-raiser and I’m surprised more schools and sports teams don’t offer this to its fans, because it’s easy to execute and has great potential for generating revenue – for some organizations, substantial revenue.
One program I’d encourage you to review and consider modeling your program after would be the Chicago Cub’s Brick Paver Program. Notice the size of the walkway the Cubs have the ability to fill with the engraved bricks, as well as the opportunity fans have to buy an additional brick they can display at their home or office.
October 20th 2006
Q. We’ve struggled each year with our basketball season ticket renewals, and this year we’ve again lost a significant percentage of our season ticket holders. When is the best time to start renewing basketball season tickets in an effort to renew at a high percentage?
A. Many sports teams renew their season ticket holders by sending an annual invoice on a certain date each year, usually a month or two from the date payment is due. I recommend you consider developing a year-round touch-point program where you’re consistently keeping in touch with your season ticket holders each month, and therefore, essentially renewing your season ticket holders year-round. This strategy will give you an opportunity to better service your customers, answer questions and/or address challenges they may be experiencing, and it’s a great opportunity to net referrals and increase your season ticket holder base.
October 19th 2006
Q. I’m not a very good time manager and curious if you have one or two strategies you could share to improve time and project management?
A. Time is one of our most precious assets. I recommend starting each day by first investing time in prioritizing your tasks – most important tasks to your least important tasks. Then, work as though you will be going on vacation the next day and need to get everything on your list completed or you can’t go on your trip.
Give this a try today and see if it makes a difference in your productivity.
October 18th 2006
Q. How can I improve my listening skills?
A. This is a question I’ve often asked myself and continue to improve each day. Here are three things I try to do to improve my listening. 1) I focus on the person who is talking, avoiding any distractions and maintain eye contact with the person talking; 2) I try and make it a mental game by asking myself what the key points are the person is trying to make; and 3) Practice each day with everyone you communicate with until it because a habit to listen and not speak until the other person has finished.
October 17th 2006
Q. How would you recommend recovering a lost client?
A. Great question and Todd Duncan in “High Trust Selling” answers this question best: “When you blow it with a customer, don’t run from them. Run to them! Here are actions you must take to recover a high-trust client whom you’ve poorly served:
Confess. Tell the client you blew it and apologize. No finger-pointing.
Correct. Tell the client what you are going to do about it.
Communicate. Let the client know you value him and that you want another chance, and give him an incentive to try you again.”
October 16th 2006
Q. You’ve provided many examples for basketball and football group ticket sales programs. Would the sales process or strategies be any different for baseball, soccer, volleyball or any other revenue sports?
A. There’s no difference in the group ticket sales process for all the sports listed above, as well as other sports you may want to sell group tickets. The strategies transfer well to various sports as well as one-time sporting events.
October 13th 2006
Q. What are some of the best ticket sales web site pages you’d recommend as a best practice layout?
A. The Utah Jazz ticket sales page and the Connecticut Sun ticket sales page each have complete ticket sales pages that include all the elements you’ll want to feature. Check each of them out and see what you think.
October 12th 2006
Q. What is the most effective way to communicate a 2-for-1 ticket offer in advertising – buy one and get one free or simply advertise buy one get one?
A. I prefer “Buy One Get One” because it doesn’t communicate a sports team is offering “free” tickets, which I feel devalues a sports team’s tickets. However, some people like the fact the advertisement states “free,” with the thought that “free” will attract more people to the offer.
October 11th 2006
Q. We’ve tied tickets into corporate sponsorships as a way for the sponsors to underwrite tickets for kids and non-profit groups. We just don’t get a good return from people utilizing the tickets. What do you recommend we do to increase use of tickets?
A. I’d recommend assigning an intern or staff member to coordinate these ticket programs – developing strategies to use the tickets and maintaining consistent touches with your corporate partners to determine if they would like to distribute to youth or if they would like for your organization to distribute the tickets to a selected non-profit organization on their behalf.
Have the program coordinator develop a list of non-profit organizations that do not have the budget or resources to purchase tickets, and have your program coordinator work with each of the organizations on the list to distribute the tickets, assist with transportation needs, and create in-arena/stadium opportunities for the groups to experience when they arrive for the game.
This could include a tour of your facility, a post-game Q&A with a player or coach, or an on-court/field experience for all who attend.
October 10th 2006
Q. We have many country clubs in our community and I’m curious to know if you feel country clubs and its membership would be a viable target audience for college athletics group ticket sales?
A. Country clubs and its membership is a great target audience for premium VIP seating, suites and sponsorship prospects. I’d recommend you focus primarily on these three areas of opportunity in regards to country clubs and its members, and introduce group ticket programs as a secondary focus.
October 9th 2006
Q. When it comes to selling season and group tickets, do you feel it’s best to assign groups by territory or category to sales executives?
A. I do not recommend assigning territories for season ticket sales executives, and I recommend assigning categories to group ticket sales executives. A fun approach to the category assignments is conducting a group category draft – similar to a professional sports team’s player annual player draft – among your sales executives.
October 6th 2006
Q. I’ve been in a sales slump. I had been enjoying prospecting, setting up meetings, proposing sponsorship packages and closing the deals. But I haven’t signed a sponsorship in several weeks. What do you recommend for getting out of my sales slump and back on track to signing deals?
A. First, what have you done lately for those clients you have on board? Have you looked for opportunities to assist them with their business by sending an article of interest, or providing them with a referral?
As I heard Jeffrey Gitomer once say, “The best way to get a referral is to give a referral.”
The best way to help you is to look for ways to help others. If you can find ways to help others with their goals and objectives, you’ll have a constant flow of people helping you with your goals and objectives.
Be a problem solver. Look for ways you can solve your current clients, as well as your prospective clients problems with your services.
If you’re known for helping others and offering solutions to problems, I’m confident you will break out of your sales slump, feel good about helping others, and be rewarded with new sales and an opportunity to help more people.
October 5th 2006
Q. What is the best day, time and month for hosting a Boy Scout event at a football game?
A. This is a great question to ask your local Boy Scout Council versus trying to figure it out yourself. They will tell you what day, time and month would work well for them.
Too many times we create a theme night schedule and then approach the groups. It’s best to meet with prospective groups to create and customize their event, and then create your calendar based on the dates your groups have chosen to host their events.
Remember, it’s all about them – their needs and their objectives.
October 4th 2006
Q. Are there any Halloween promotions you’d recommend for increasing ticket sales?
A. There are so many Halloween ticket promotions it’s frightening! No seriously, there are plenty of Halloween treats and I’ll include a few here for you to check out for yourself.
For the figure skaters, there’s Halloween on Ice.
Since we’re in the midst of baseball’s pennant race, how about checking out how the Dodgers are leveraging its post-season play by offering an online enter to win ticket sweepstakes and scoring solid prospective season ticket leads for its 2007 season – nicely done.
October 3rd 2006
Q. We conduct enter to win contests to generate prospective ticket buyer leads. Besides doing this at our athletic events and sponsor locations, what are some other ways we could utilize enter to win contests to generate leads?
A. You could also include an enter to win contest on your web site as well as utilize each of your media partners – talk and sports radio; radio remotes; newspaper sports, entertainment and business sections; and there are plenty of opportunities on TV and in local magazines, business journals, and community newspapers.
October 2nd 2006
Q. What would you consider the ultimate sports job?
A. The one that makes you happy.
I don’t believe it matters if you’re working in sports or not. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you need to find something you enjoy doing every daily. To me, if you get excited going to work and coming home from the office, you have the ultimate job.
Ron Goch, The Telios Group
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